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Student Conduct Penalty Code

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Learn more about when different sanctions are typically applied during the Judicial Process, and what the ramifications are for a student.

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Sanctions and Their Practical Effects


Stanford University’s Student Conduct Penalty Code is to be used in conjunction with the Student Judicial Charter of 1997, and is applicable only to the actions of the judicial entities that have determined that a violation of the Honor Code, the Fundamental Standard or another rule or policy governing student conduct has occurred.

In all cases in which a student is found responsible the student shall be informed by a letter of censure of the penalty or penalties assessed for an offense. The letter shall list all penalties imposed on the student. No information contained in a student’s disciplinary record will be released without the written consent of the student.

The Judicial Advisor shall inform any member of the community whose role in implementing the penalty requires that person to be informed of a penalty imposed by the Judicial Panel. The Judicial Advisor shall also inform the reporting party of any penalties imposed by the panel.

Until a student has satisfied all conditions of a penalty, they are ineligible to receive a Stanford degree.

Types and Definitions of Penalties

After determining a violation has occurred, the Judicial Panel hearing the case shall impose a penalty, or a combination of penalties, in accordance with the nature and seriousness of the offense, the motivation underlying the offense and precedent in similar cases. This code provides a list of the available penalties. The order of the penalties in the list does not suggest their frequency or likelihood, or the proper penalty in a particular case.

Only the following penalties may be applied:

A.  Formal Warning
B.  Probation
C.  Deprivation of Rights and Privileges
D.  Monetary Restitution
E.  Community Service
F.   Delayed Degree Conferral
G.  Suspension
H.  Conditional Suspension
I.   Expulsion
J.   Academic Penalties for Honor Code Violations
K.  Education

Sanctioning Guidelines for the Early Resolution Option

In May 2013, the Board on Judicial Affairs (BJA) adopted the 2012 Internal Review Panel Report’s recommendation to apply the following sanctions to cases resolved through the Early Resolution Option (ERO): probation—a period of observation and review—until conferral the terminal degree and a one-quarter suspension held in abeyance, 40 hours of community service, and an online training on academic integrity. After three years, based on feedback from the Stanford community and the Office of Community Standards staff, the BJA voted to adopt the following amendment to the Student Conduct Penalty Code on May 25, 2016 that determines that the Office of Community Standards should use the following guidelines in determining sanctions for ERO agreements.

All cases resolved through the ERO shall include probation—a period of observation and review—until conferral the terminal degree and a one-quarter suspension held in abeyance.

In Spring 2018, the BJA determined that all cases resolved through the ERO for graduating students shall include a one-quarter delay of degree conferral; amended from the previous sanction of a two-quarter delay of degree conferral.

For all cases, the Judicial Officer shall determine additional sanctions that appropriately address the violation for which a student is charged, including, but not limited to, at least one of the following:

  • An educational component (e.g., academic integrity seminar, sessions through the Hume Writing Center, assigned reading or reflection essays);
  • A community service component;
  • A restorative justice component;
  • Restrictions on or revocation of privileges; or,
  • Restitution to a victim or the community.

All involved parties (Responding Student, Reporting Party, and Judicial Officer) must agree to the determined sanctions in order for a case to be resolved through the ERO.

A. Formal Warning

The Judicial Panel may give a student a formal warning. Should the student later be found guilty of any other offense the Judicial Advisor shall inform the panel during the penalty phase of deliberations that the student received a formal warning for a prior offense.

B. Probation

The panel may place a student on probation for a specific period of time, during which time a penalty or some part of a penalty is postponed. The time period, terms or conditions, and the reasons for granting probation must be communicated in writing by the Judicial Panel hearing the case.

Probationary status will be automatically revoked and the postponed penalties automatically reinstated, effective immediately, if the probationer is found guilty by a Judicial Panel of committing another act of student misconduct while on probation, unless that panel specifically deems the subsequent violation as trivial or irrelevant to the offense for which the probation was granted. Successful completion of probation cancels the postponed penalties.

The Judicial Panel determining penalties for a subsequent violation may allow the reinstated penalty to suffice for both violations, or impose additional penalties to the original penalties, or impose independent penalties.

C. Deprivation of Rights and Privileges

Loss of particular student rights and privileges for a specified time, including but not limited to: taking part in intercollegiate activities, including athletic events; serving in positions of trust and responsibility; using university facilities, such as libraries and gymnasiums.

D. Monetary Restitution

A specific amount of money to be paid by a specific date. A student may be assessed a reasonable monetary penalty to defray actual financial losses to the university, individuals, or student organizations attributable to and caused by the offense for which the student was found guilty.

The student will be provided documentation of actual financial losses, and the money collected will be used only to reimburse those individuals and/or organizations incurring the loss. No monetary penalties will be assessed to defray costs associated with the investigation and adjudication of the offense by the university.

A student who fails to pay as ordered shall be treated as though suspended from the university until full payment is made.

E. Community Service

A specific number of hours to be worked in unpaid university or public service within a specific period of time.

Community service must be served to the Stanford community and be related to educational, charitable, or public service organizations. Written confirmation by the person responsible for supervising the student that he or she worked satisfactorily for the specified number of hours will conclusively establish successful completion. The Judicial Advisor shall be responsible for monitoring the student’s progress.

A student who fails to meet a community service deadline shall be treated as though suspended from the university.

F. Delayed Degree Conferral

The panel may delay the conferral of a Stanford degree for a specific period of time.

G. Suspension

Loss of student status for specified period of time. All rights and privileges of student status are suspended during this time, including but not limited to: the right to attend classes; use library facilities; use any other facilities of the university except those open to the general public; obtain credit for any academic work; engage in any activities, or hold any position on any university committee or student organization, whether appointive or elective; live in student housing; participate in intercollegiate athletics.

A student under suspension or who has been suspended in a future term continues to be subject to university rules governing student conduct and shall be treated as a student for all disciplinary purposes.

H. Conditional Suspension

Suspension for a specified period of time followed by a suspension for an indefinite period of time during which the student may petition for reinstatement according to criteria established by the original Judicial Panel. The petition shall be decided by a Judicial Panel.

I. Expulsion

Expulsion from the university is the permanent termination of an individual’s status as a student, with the loss of all rights and privileges appurtenant thereto.

If a Judicial Panel recommends expulsion from the University, the case will be automatically reviewed by the provost. The provost has the option of supporting the recommendation of expulsion or imposing lesser sanctions.

J. Academic Penalties for Honor Code Violations

When the panel has determined that a violation has occurred, only the instructor may apply an academic penalty, consisting of the whole or partial denial of credit for a course or an examination, the determination of a grade for a course or an examination, or the rejection of a thesis or other program requirement. No academic penalty may be imposed in a course or project unrelated to the violation.

K. Education

The panel may require a student to complete a specified educational course, seminar, workshop or program.

Examples could include, but are not limited to: a course on ethics; a seminar on alcohol or drug education; a workshop on proper citation practice when writing papers; or a stress management workshop. The panel must specify with particularity what is to be completed. Ordinarily, the student will be limited to on-campus courses, seminars, workshops or programs. However, should hardship or other extenuating circumstances be present, the student may request permission from the Judicial Advisor to substitute a substantively equal off-campus offering.

Written confirmation by the person responsible for the offering that the student satisfactorily finished it will conclusively establish successful completion. The Judicial Advisor shall be responsible for monitoring the student’s progress.